NO. 24 AXALTA/VOLTATEX CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1 1LE
Date: May 3, 2020
eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series Race #6: virtual Dover International Speedway
Track Specs: one-mile oval / 150 laps
RECAPPING THE RACE:
Kicking off the sixth installment of the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series, William Byron had a quiet but dominant day at the virtual Dover International Speedway. Qualifying third, but starting in the eighth position due to an invert of the top-10 starting positions, Byron methodically worked his way to the front of the field in his No. 24 Axalta/Voltatex Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE and maintained the top spot to capture the win at the “Monster Mile,” and his third win of the Pro Invitational Series.
After posting the third-fastest time during qualifying, a 10-car inversion placed Byron eighth for the start of Sunday’s race at Dover International Speedway. In the opening laps, Byron jumped up to seventh but maintained that pace, trying to save his tires as much as possible in the early going. With the first caution coming out on Lap 13, Byron came down pit road for four tires and fuel, picking up one position for the restart. Gaining two more spots once the field went back green, the 22-year-old was scored fourth when the yellow flag was displayed 10 laps later. With pit strategy starting to take place throughout the field, Byron elected not to pit under the second caution period, giving him the lead for the restart on Lap 28. Maintaining the top spot through two more cautions, Byron came back down pit road under yellow on Lap 54. However, with some of the leaders electing not to pit, Byron restarted fifth but ultimately was able to take the lead back from his Hendrick Motorsports teammate, Alex Bowman, within 10 laps of going back green. Byron maintained the lead until the caution came out on Lap 72 when he came down pit road for fresh tires, before lining up second for the ensuing restart. Just past the halfway mark in the 150-lap race, Byron continued to run in the second position working on saving his tires. However, showing long run speed in his No. 24 Axalta/Voltatex Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, Byron caught the leader and regained the top spot with 50 laps to go. Byron remained in control of the field through two more caution periods before ultimately coming down pit road for the final time when the caution came out on Lap 136. Pitting for four tires, Byron was scored fifth for the restart with nine laps to go behind four cars who elected to take only two tires. Knowing that time was running out, Byron powered his way through the traffic, making the pass for the lead with six laps left. From there, Byron never looked back, crossing the finish line for the win at the virtual Dover International Speedway, and his third of the Pro Invitational Series.
With his win today, Byron now has 324 wins on iRacing and remains the only repeat driver to win in the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series with three wins in the last four events. Leading 79 laps today, Byron has led the most laps in five of the six Pro Invitational Series races so far, including today’s race as well. In fact, across all six races Byron has led over half of the total laps run – 407 of 758 laps.
QUOTING WILLIAM BYRON:
“It was a lot of fun today. Obviously, there was a lot of cautions, so I just had to kind of pace myself. It was hard to predict when we were going to get a longer run so it's hard to know what to do with the tires in terms of how much to save and whatnot.
“My help there, Nick (Ottinger) and Matt Holden, did a great job of really allowing me to leave the strategy up to them as far as what tires to take. I think four tires at the end was the right call to be aggressive. I’m just thankful for their support and ready to get back to our normal racing here soon.”